PCMCIA has introduced the next-generation ExpressCard technology, Standard 2.0, which is claimed to support transfer rates ten times faster than the current Standard 1.2 protocol utilized in a wide range of notebooks. Devices that could potentially benefit from the increased speed include eSATA adapters for external hard drives, streaming media and video adapters, or high-performance storage modules such as SSDs.
Confirming earlier reports, EVGA on Tuesday launched the GeForce GTX 285 Mac Edition graphics card which offers similar features to the Windows variant. The accessory supports single or dual displays with resolutions up to 2560x1600, while providing 1GB of DDR3 memory and 240 processing cores. EVGA has designed the component for improved graphics-intensive operations such as gaming, motion graphics, 3D modeling, rendering and animation. Users can connect the displays to two dual-link DVI-I ports.
Universal Music has contracted Tapulous to develop iPhone apps based on the label's most popular groups or artists, according to mocoNews. The game developer, known for such titles as Tap Tap Revenge, has already produced a number of apps featuring bands such as Dave Matthews, Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer, Rise Against and Lady Gaga. Tapulous CEO Bart Decrem claims the Universal negotiations involve roughly a half dozen new apps, including titles for Eminem and Black Eyed Peas.
Microsoft on Tuesday released updates to several of its Mac programs; Office 2008 and Open XML Converter. The Office 12.1.9 update focuses on improved security by addressing a vulnerability that can be used to overwrite the computer memory with malicious code. Users that intend to install Entourage 2008 Web Services Edition for Mac must also install the update for compatibility. The release applies to users of Office 2008, Home and Student Edition, Special Media Edition, Word 2008, Excel 2008, PowerPoint 2008 and Entourage 2008.
Apple has already begun shipping the new MacBook Pro models launched on Monday at the WWDC keynote. The company made changes across the entire line, with new 13-inch MacBook Pros integrating either a 2.26GHz or 2.53GHz CPU for $1,200 and $1,500, respectively. The refreshed 15-inch models are available with 2.53GHz to 2.8GHz CPUs and 250GB to 500GB hard drive options, while prices range from $1,700 to $2,300 depending on configuration. Apple dropped the price on the 17-inch MacBook Pro to $2,500, while increasing the CPU speed to 2.8GHz and the hard drive capacity to 500GB.
Boris FX has released a beta version of its video and film effects software, Boris Continuum Complete 6 AVX. The plug-in is used to add a host of approximately 200 filters to a variety of video editing programs, such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe After Effects, while still preserving After Effects keyframes. Notable additions to the beta include 15 new filters, along with the ability to restore and enhance images or generate 3D text animations.
HighPoint has released the RocketRAID eSATA controller, specifically designed for the Mac Pro. The device is used to manage disk drives and provides additional disk cache. The controller features PCI-Express x4 bus speed, enabling transfer rates of up to 1000MB per second. RocketRAID eSATA also has integrated boot support allowing the controller to boot a Mac Pro system from a single drive or RAID configuration. The controller is also capable of supporting almost every type of eSATA hard disk configuration, such as Silicon Image Port Multipliers and eSATA drive kits.
Feral Interactive has announced that The Movies: Superstar Edition will ship June 30. The Superstar edition features the original game with the new Stunts & Effects expansion pack and a bonus musical soundtrack from composer Dan Pemberton. The game places players in the role of a Hollywood studio executive as he progresses through various eras, from silent productions to action blockbusters, and develop films from ideas to complete movies. Players must film the movies, then release them to theaters and coordinate the critical reception and award shows that follow.
An angry Comcast Internet subscriber has written a complaint (caution: may not be safe for work) that alleges the provider is intercepting his DNS requests to other, non-Comcast DNS servers and redirecting them to its own. The author says Comcast takes UDP traffic bound for port 53 on any server and redirects it to their own, making it nearly impossible for users to use different DNS servers, including their own.
Nemetschek North America has released its fourth Service Pack for Vectorworks 2009. The update features improvements in a number of areas including stairs, performance and overall stability. The company has fixed stairs issues involving baluster connections, 180-degree curved landings and elevations, along with the dialog settings for Flights and Platforms. Mac-specific corrections involve enlarged file sizes after purging the unused objects, and symbols in the walls lost at each 3D wall break.
Online electronics retailer Dynamism is now letting shoppers pre-order the Viliv X70 Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC), and its base price is revealed by the online product page. The device has a 7-inch, 1024x600 touchscreen display, and packs a 16GB or 32GB solid state drive, which is partly responsible for the quick, five-second boot-up time of the pre-loaded Windows XP operating system. The base configuration makes do with a 1.2GHz Intel Atom CPU, while a 1.3GHz Atom is optional. All versions get 1GB of DDR2 RAM.
A new firmware update was recently approved by Verizon Wireless for the carrier's HTC Touch Pro handset. Firmware version 1.08 has three major improvements, including adding Verizon's Visual Voice Mail functionality. It also allows users to access the GPS sensor via Google Maps and Windows Live Search for Mobile, effectively unlocking it.
Korea's iRiver has recently announced the upcoming release of its NV Classic portable media player, which has a built-in DMB digital TV tuner and doubles as a GPS navigation device. A 7-inch, 800x480 resolution touchscreen and a custom Magazine interface serve as its near-exclusive controls. There is no internal memory, as iRiver instead ships the NV Classic with two SDHC memory cards. A blank 4GB card will hold multimedia files, with the device supporting MP3, WAV, OGG and WMA audio files, MPEG1-4, WMV9 and XviD videos and JPEG and BMP images. A second SDHC card contains mapping information for the navigation functionality.
Smith Micro has released the sixth editions of Anime Studio Debut and Anime Studio Pro. The former creates cartoons and animations, in the style of South Park and JibJab, and shares them online. The program includes a variety of stock props, characters, videos and sound effects, as well as lip-syncing and motion-tracking abilities.
Newton this afternoon rolled out its first peripheral made just for iPhone users. The MoGo Talk case protects the back of an iPhone 3G or 3G S but has a shallow slot to fit a bundled MoGo headset. The in-ear Bluetooth earpiece not only stows away but also charges through the slot to let owners charge both the iPhone and the headset with a single cable. Despite the thin size, it has a talk time of about four hours.
Boingo Wireless, a Wi-Fi hotspot provider, is sharing statistics regarding the usage of its service, which it claims shows heavy access from iPhones and iPod touches. The combination of the two devices represents nearly a quarter of all access, at 23 percent. The figure puts Apple handhelds ahead of both Mac- and Windows Vista-based computers, and second only to Windows XP systems.
At the SID Display Week show in Korea, Samsung's LCD unit is showing off a 10.2-inch prototype display that combines LCD video display and e-paper technologies and allows users to switch between the modes. The active matrix panel uses a cholestoric liquid crystal arrangement, which means they are arranged in a series of layers that are slightly rotated. This design is what enables the display mode to operate in memory mode like conventional e-paper displays or else switch to a dynamic mode to display video.
ASUS vice chairman Jonathan Tsang today said in an interview that his company intends to beat Apple in design in the US. Even though the Eee PC line has been successful in the country, Tsang tells the New York Times that ASUS has little recognition in the US and that it plans to rely on engineering to boost its name, with Apple's MacBooks as the conspicuous target. The company's focus on product design reportedly leaves little room for a marketing budget and thus gives it little room to depend on advertising.
iSkysoft has released the full version of DVD-Library software, used to backup movies to a Mac or portable hard disk as separate ISO images. Files retain a DVD's content protection and digital quality, but can be still be watched on a computer. The DVD Boxes feature adds a cover image, disc information and custom organization.
Firemint has released a new racing game for the iPhone and iPod touch, Real Racing. The title features five different modes, 36 cars in three classes, and a dozen tracks that take players through forests, deserts and seaside circuits. During a race players can choose between in-car or external views, and either manual or automatic acceleration and braking. The game's soundtrack consists of 10 tracks licensed from indie artists.
T-Mobile today acknowledged that a recent hacking attempt had obtained information from its servers but downplayed the risk from the event. While the cellular carrier confirmed that data posted by the infiltrators on security message board Full Disclosure was real, a company representative has claimed to Electronista that none of the information would have compromised either T-Mobile itself or any of its subscribers. The provider nonetheless said it would watch for further attempts and has already taken "additional measures" to guard its network.
Just over a month after it was announced for the European market under a slightly different name, Harman Kardon's first Blu-ray disc player, the BDP-1, got an officially confirmation of its arrival in North America on Tuesday. The HD disc player will feature BD-Live compatibility via an Ethernet jack to access extra movie content and other features online. It supports a film-speed 24FPS without pulldown and upscales DVDs to 1080p.
Ugobe, the company that owned the intellectual property rights for the Pleo robot dinosaur but recently went into Chapter 7 bankruptcy has been purchased by the manufacturing partner of Pleo, Jetta Company Limited. According to a RobotsRule report, the United States liaison for Jetta, Steve Ohler, says the company will re-release and improve Pleo and build accessories such as batteries and chargers. The bankruptcy sale took place on May 21st and there are no other details forthcoming from Jetta about when the Pleo will again be available on the market.
Comcast today expanded its DOCSIS 3.0-based cable modem service to Washington, D.C. with a price cut to match. The US capital has the same 50Mbps peak downloads and 10Mbps peak uploads as other areas but has had the price of the service drop substantially, down $40 to $100 per month. It's not specified whether the cut applies just to the Washington area or if other regions also receive the price cut today, though a leak regarding the cut said it would apply broadly on June 20th.
DeepFish ($5) can be used to search through an IMAP-based email account. The application allows users to set up multiple IMAP accounts and then search through them individually, across folders, or through sub-folders. DeepFish is also able to search across the To, From, and Subject fields, as well as the entire message contents.
The weekend launch of the Palm Pre had produced a "record Sprint sales debut," the carrier claims. First-day and first-weekend records are said to have been surpassed by late Sunday, although Sprint has refused to disclose the exact number of Pres sold. The lack of data may be attributable to the short timeframe, although the company may also be worried about comparisons with AT&T and the Apple iPhone.
Acer could be introducing a smaller Timeline that may ultimately kill the high end of its netbooks, a rumor from Taiwan's PC industry indicates. An 11.6-inch version of the Timeline is purportedly tapped for July and, DigiTimes says, will create pressure in the category. To avoid a conflict with the same-size Aspire One 751h netbook, Acer is believed to be either cutting the price of the 751h or else phasing it out entirely.
Orbino has released a new line of exotic skin cases, specific to the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 3G. Models consist of the Cognac Ostrich Leg, Ebony Snakeskin, Graphite Stingray, Red Nile Crocodile, Cream Ostrich, Black Ostrich and Brown Crocodile. Each case is hand-stitched, and includes a protective flap with an invisible magnetic closure to protect screens.
Quietly announced alongside iPhone 3.0 features and the iPhone 3GS yesterday was a forthcoming iDisk app, Apple's website reveals. Though not yet on the App Store, the software should allow MobileMe subscribers to access files in a remote iDisk folder. Folders can either be protected personal ones, or those designated as public by other subscribers.
Verizon's edition of the Palm Pre is slated to launch almost immediately after Sprint's exclusivity period ends, a leak would suggest. In referring to a person "familiar with the situation," the Wall Street Journal understands that the Pre will ship through Verizon in January. Sprint has maintained that its exclusive is longer than six months but, if true, would only have the Pre to itself for one month more before allowing other US carriers to sell it.
MyMacTime 1.3 ($20) is a tool for tracking time spent on different projects. Users can enter all the tasks they are currently working on and then either enter the time spent on each one manually or have the application log it. Tasks can then be synchronized with iCal for printing or sharing. Version 1.3 allows users to open recent projects through the status menu and also includes new options for bringing the main window to the front. Clicking on a Growl notification, using a defined keyboard shortcut, and using a specified status menu action are all options for making myMacTime the active window. [Download - 4.7MB]
Magellan today produced a quick but important hardware revision for its RoadMate line. The 1475T improves on the earlier 1470 with free traffic updates that help re-route drivers around congestion. Magellan's approach is ad-supported rather than subsidized and helps keep the GPS device's price down.
The iPhone 3GS is seeing considerable early interest in the UK, claims third-party retailer Carphone Warehouse. The company announced preordering intentions shortly after the end of Apple's WWDC keynote, and claims that over 6,000 people registered for more information within a two-hour period. Preorders are scheduled to open on June 10th.
Sony is rumored to be getting ready to drop the price of its PlayStation 3 gaming console to coincide with the next release of EA Sports' Madden this fall, according to a Monday IndustryGamers report. Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia notes that Madden is due for an August 18th release and claims that "industry sources" know the console should lower in price in time for the game's appearance, which could potentially boost sales.
Nokia today started carrying the N97 in its Chicago and New York City flagship stores. The smartphone comes to the US both with native 3G using AT&T's HSPA network but also preloaded with Qik's self-titled video streaming app. Using it provides both offline recording for later use as well as Qik's signature ability to stream video live to the web, either for a set group of friends or as a public broadcast. The N97 in particular supports up to a 16:9-ratio, 642x358 feed.
Major financial analysts have taken a generally positive view of Apple's WWDC keynote. Kaufman's Shaw Wu observes that it was unexpected for Steve Jobs to make no appearance whatsoever, despite being on medical leave until the end of the month. The CEO has typically made every major Apple announcement since returning in the late '90s; WWDC 2009 may signify that "the management transition is complete," according to Wu, meaning that Jobs' philosophy has been burned into his fellow executives. Kaufman has correspondingly raised its price target for Apple stock from $160 to $176.
NAVIGON today signaled its intent to compete against TomTom's iPhone app with software of its own. A version of MobileNavigator will use iPhone OS 3.0's support of turn-by-turn GPS to provide the same driving directions as many of its dedicated GPS units, including its Reality View, lane and speed assists, and its notification of road signs. Owners can play music from their device's existing library, plot routes based on contacts' addresses and auto-resume navigation after taking a call.
German automaker VW and Autonet Mobile on Tuesday announced they will collaborate to bring the uconnect web in-car Internet service to VW's Routan minivan. Later in June, all Volkswagen dealerships across the United States will be able to outfit new Routan minivans with the option. While specifics of how the system operates haven't been announced, similar systems from Autonet are available in Chrysler vehicles and Cadillac. The 3G mobile data modem runs on EVDO and gives users downloads between 400Kbps to 800Kbps and uploads at roughly 400Kbps. This allows for live audio and video streaming as well as online gaming, Autonet claims.
Western Digital on Tuesday launched one of its largest home drives with an upgrade to the My Book Studio Edition II: the new model pairs two 2TB drives together in a RAID 0 stripe for a total of 4TB of space, affording it enough room for very large backups or other media. As before, it comes pre-formatted in HFS+ for Macs and is seen as particularly useful for large Time Machine backups.
Napster is likely to be hiring for possible iPhone and Mac OS X apps based on a job listing at Craigslist. The Los Angeles software engineer position would require both experience with OS X iPhone elements, such as Cocoa Touch, as well as Mac OS X-specific features. What projects the recruit would work on are unclear, but Napster says part of its goal would be to have its products "work more effectively and natively" in Mac OS X.
Logitech this morning upgraded its V220 wireless mouse with its first color and pattern options. Normally only coming in dark gray, the three-button notebook mouse now has blue, pink, purple and red solid colors as well as three patterned versions that draw on those same colors. It shares its RF-based nano USB receiver with higher-end mice like the VX Nano and can leave the connector plugged into a notebook even when it's in a bag.
HP this morning rolled out a trio of notebook refreshes it's gearing towards students, particularly in price but also in design. The Pavilion dv6 is being given a headlining dv6z Artist Edition 2; the 16-inch notebook has special lid artwork that won a recent MTV design contest and also comes with relatively high specifications for an AMD-based system, including a 2.3GHz Turion X2 Ultra, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and a Mobility Radeon HD 4650 for its video. It also gets a bundle of three Corel audiovisual editing apps and will launch on June 10th for $950.
Apple Monday evening posted to its website a QuickTime video stream of its WWDC 2009 keynote address which brought a new, updated 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks, the faster iPhone 3G S and, a new iPhone OS 3.0, which was made available to developers on Monday for testing and is due on June 17th. Apple executives -- without their leader CEO Steve Jobs -- delivered a near 2-hour presentation to announce more affordable 17-inch MacBook Pros as well as updated, faster 15-inch MacBook Pros with new SD media card slots, faster processors and higher quality displays. Apple also replaced its entry-level MacBook Pros with new "Pro"-level notebooks -- at lower price points -- that feature a 13-inch, higher quality screen, a much-needed FireWire 800 port, an SD Card slot, longer battery life via the built-in battery technology of its larger 17-inch sibling, and standard back-lit keyboards. Apple also not only reduced the price of its MacBook Air offerings, but also included faster Intel chips.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.96 ( + 0.37 )
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX